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History World War Ii

Fight to the Finish

Canadians in the Second World War, 1944-1945

by (author) Tim Cook

Penguin Group Canada
Initial publish date
Sep 2016
World War II, 20th Century, Post-Confederation (1867-)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price

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An unforgettable chronicle of Canadians fighting the Second World War.

Historian Tim Cook displays his trademark storytelling ability in the second volume of his masterful account of Canadians in World War II. Cook combines an extraordinary grasp of military strategy with a deep empathy for the soldiers on the ground, at sea, and in the air. Whether it's a minute-by-minute account of a gruelling artillery battle, vicious infighting among generals, the scene inside a medical unit, or the small details of a soldier's daily life, Cook creates an utterly compelling narrative. He recounts in mesmerizing detail how the Canadian forces figured in the Allied bombing of Germany, the D-Day landing at Juno beach, the taking of Caen, and the drive south.

Featuring dozens of black-and-white photographs and moving excerpts from letters and diaries of servicemen, Fight to the Finish, along with its companion volume, The Necessary War, broadens our understanding of the Second World War with a gripping account of Canadians who fought abroad, and the home front that was changed forever.

About the author

TIM COOK is the Great War historian at the Canadian War Museum, as well as an adjunct professor at Carleton University. He is the author of five other books, including Shock Troops, which won the prestigious Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction in 2009. He was also awarded the Ottawa Book Award and the J.W. Dafoe Prize for At the Sharp End. Cook lives in Ottawa with his family.

Tim Cook's profile page


  • Winner, Ottawa Book Award for Non-Fiction

Editorial Reviews

"[Cook] has cemented his place in the top rank of historians.… He is painting a complete picture in [Fight to the Finish], from the muddy, feces-infested slit trenches dug in haste across northern France, to the gory operating theatres where the young men lived or died in agony, to the harsh [prisoner of war] camps in eastern Germany.… [Fight to the Finish and The Necessary War] should be on the library shelf of anyone interested in the story of Canada's Second World War, warts and all." —Ottawa Citizen

Praise for The Necessary War, Volume 1:

“A genuinely captivating work of historical reportage and analysis.… The Necessary War grapples with the question of how one lives knowing each day might literally be your last.” —The Globe and Mail
“A clear-eyed look at the successes and many failures of Canada’s early war effort, within the larger context of the international story and the situation of the times.” —Ottawa Citizen
“The Necessary War is the ultimate exploration of WWII and its impact of Canadians.… A thorough and engaging chronicle of a war that devastated the entire world.” —CBC Books
“I’ve read well-written books that explain this war from the government and military hierarchy’s persepctive, and equally crafted accounts drawing mainly from combatants’ and families’ diaries. The Necessary War excels in both areas.” —FFW Weekly

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